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Iwi / Māori - 3Waters - update - 11 November 2022

Tēnā koutou katoa, see below an update on the 3Waters.


Ngāti Kahungunu’s Key Recommendations:

  • Iwi and hapū rights must be provided for, substantively and procedurally. These must ‘follow the Treaty’ in the sense that they must be anchored at place, where the customary authority derives from the land.
  • Te Mana o Te Wai and Ngā Mātāpono o te Wai are the appropriate environmental safeguards for water in Aotearoa/New Zealand, and as such should be championed, elevated and socialised to ensure they are manifest in practice.
  • Te Oranga o Te Taiao is a concept supported as the overarching environmental ethic for wider Resource Management reforms, and there is complete conceptual consistency between Te Mana o Te Wai and Te Oranga o Te Taiao.

The Three Waters reform programme is complex and has many moving parts.  In this briefing, we share key updates with iwi/Māori to help you understand the reform programme and participate in it.

Water Services Entities Bill

Select committee report back

The Water Services Entities Bill was introduced on 2 June 2022. The bill establishes four publicly owned dedicated Water Services Entities that will provide safe, reliable, and efficient water services through improved investment and management.

This was followed by a first reading on 9 June where it was referred to the Finance and Expenditure Committee.  The Committee considered over 80,000 submissions on this legislation

Today (11 November) the Finance and Expenditure Committee issued its report on the Water Services Entities Bill.  You can find this report here.

An overview of the response to the Select Committee process:



Submissions made by New Zealanders


Oral submissions


Amendments made to the Bill

The key themes from the submission process included existing service provision, ownership, governance structure, joint-oversight, the scope and scale of the entities, privatization, and local voice and community engagement amongst others.

The Select Committee considered these in making its recommendations back to the Government.  The key amendments to Bill 1 include:

·      WSE’s are “plan-takers”

Revisions to the Bill support Local Government growth and planning processes as an objective. At the request of councils, the legislation is clear about the role of the Water Services Entities in supporting the planning process, that they are “plan-takers” rather than “plan-makers”.

·      Ensuring all voices are heard at the table

The make-up of the Regional Representative Group will be required to consider the appropriate mix of metro, provincial and rural councils to ensure smaller councils do not lose their voice in favour of larger centres.

·      Increased accountability to communities

The Entities will be required to have an annual shareholder meeting to keep them accountable to communities.

Treaty settlement rights & protection

Post Settlement Governance Entities hui

We are doing some work to ensure that all Treaty settlements, their redress mechanisms and obligations are upheld and protected by the reform.  

This work will contribute towards the final form of the Water Services Amendment Bill (Bill 2).  At this stage Bill 2 is scheduled to be introduced in early December.

Analysis to understand the potential impacts on Treaty settlements has been completed with the help of Paul Beverley from Buddle Findlay and we are now at a stage where we a reaching out to PSGEs to make time to sit with them, to talk through this analysis, get advice from the PSGEs on whether there are gaps or other things to consider and also options for how to progress forward.   

There are two broad groupings of Treaty Settlements that fall out of the analysis.  The first group are those Treaty Settlements (mechanisms, rights and interests) that are going to require extra consideration to ensure that they are protected throughout the reform process and the second group are those Treaty Settlements that we believe will not be substantially effected by the reform.   

We are now in a phase of reaching out in the first instance to those iwi/PSGEs who fall within the first group.  Formal correspondence will be sent out to all PSGEs with information about this and the analysis from Buddle Findlay in the next short while.

Timeframes - Bill 2

·        Introduction: early December 2022.

·        Submissions (to Select Committee) on Bill 2 will open mid-December, close mid-March 2023.

We understand that this is a really busy time of year and that your availability will be limited however we will be working with you to find time to ensure that we can work through these issues together to find a way forward to meet the Bill 2 timeframe.




He Pūkenga Wai Fund

Support for iwi/PSGEs to engage with their whānau

A reminder that He Pūkenga Wai is fund available to support mandated PSGES, mandated iwi organisations and iwi authorities (as recognised in the Resource Management Act 1991).   Information on He Pūkenga Wai can be found here. If you need support to navigate this process please reach out to your engagement lead


Entity A Engagement Leads

Ōtene Rewiti

Nikora Wharerau


Entity C Engagement Lead

Te Tuanui Paki




Entity B Engagement Lead

Ngaa Rauuira Puumanawawhiti

Entity D Engagement Lead

Hera Smith


Ngā mihi,
The Three Waters Team
Te Tari Taiwhenua | Department of Internal Affairs



Iwi Māori - 3Waters - update - 11 November 2022

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